The Celebrity Couples conference is an interdisciplinary conference exploring the cultural politics of celebrity coupledom and relationships. It will take place at the University of Southampton on Saturday 24th November 2012, and registration will close on 9th November.
This conference seeks to explore the phenomenon of the celebrity power couple: those relationships where two stars come together and where their individual identities as celebrities become inseparable from their status as a famous couple. With the prominence of one-name couples (Brangelina, TomKat) and famous families (Will Smith / Jada Pinkett Smith and kids), it is becoming increasingly clear that celebrity is no longer an individual pursuit (if it ever was). When combining forces through agents and managers, these couples can straddle different celebrity spheres (David and Victoria Beckham). Also, in the neoliberal, postfeminist present, these (in)famous relationships are often bound up in cultural and legal politics of kinship (Ellen Degeneres and Portia deRossi’s wedding in the midst of debates about gay marriage laws, and famous politicians like the Clintons). The overriding questions of this conference are therefore: How do celebrities use relationships to further their fame / power? And how does celebrity culture engage with / reflect / influence the culture and politics of kinship?